By Joe Chernov published March 25, 2013

Epic Content Marketers: 20 More Women Who Rock

epic content marketersLast year, I tried to break up the content marketing “boys club” by writing a post that highlighted women who “rock” content marketing. Twitter lit up — frenzied comments applauded those listed and decried those absent. In other words, the post struck a nerve.

To account for the absences, some glaring, I created a “Top Women in Content” Twitter list. But that was an ersatz solution. We needed the real thing, another batch of must-follow women in content marketing. 

Looking back at last year’s post, I realize that I traded one “club” for another. The overwhelming majority of the women listed were business-to-business content marketers. They created content to attract new leads, and convert them into customers.  “Demand generation,” despite its obvious importance to any company, is just one function of content marketing. Others include user experience, public relations, and branding.

To that end, this year’s list includes professionals who might not fit the “classic” funnel-driven definition of content marketing. Instead, it’s comprised of women for whom content is an inseparable component of their professional, and often personal, lives. It’s a list of women who not only produce epic content, but also live it.

Some of the names will be familiar to nearly everyone in marketing circles — stars like Mary Meeker, Nilofer Merchant, and Brandee Barker — while others fly well below the radar. For example, when Jenny Karn ran client services at JESS3, her clients (myself included) earned notoriety, yet she remained in the shadows. I hope this list shines a light on behind-the-curtain difference-makers like Jenny, while simultaneously highlighting the content chops of the Mary Meekers of the world.

CMIHeader 2

Click around in the LookBook above to see all 20.

Lastly, this is by no means a definitive list. It’s a collection of women who inspire me. Women who, when they present at a conference, cause me to clear my calendar for that hour. Although many wouldn’t even consider themselves content marketers, they remain professionals whom I wish I were a little more like. And here they are:

  1. Sonia Simone: An embarrassing oversight in last year’s list, Sonia cofounded and runs Copyblogger — arguably one of the most influential content marketing blogs in the industry.
  2. Sarah Hofstetter: Remember Oreo’s famous real-time “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet? That was Sarah’s firm, 360i, where she’s also the Executive Sponsor of the Oreo account.
  3. Jennifer Burnham: Few get the concept of “helpful” content more than Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham. Her “Blueprint of the Perfect Post” series is the very definition of content as a service.
  4. Brandee Barker: Facebook’s original PR leader, Brandee serves on the board of Somaly Mam Foundation, a role that overlaps with major film and print content. She’s also an early contributor to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement.
  5. Carmen Hill: Carmen’s exceptional content strategy work earned her employer, Babcock & Jenkins, an Orange Award at last year’s Content Marketing World.
  6. Jiashan Wu: Visual content wins, and as designer and strategist for creative firm XOlator, Jiashan delivers can’t-be-ignored creative. She’s also won a Clio award.
  7. Nicole D’Alonzo: When not running social media at a major beauty brand, Nicole is publishing a “ridiculously awesome” daily email for bold women.
  8. Nisha Chittal: Nisha leads social strategy for Travel Channel, and doubles as a prolific contributor to Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, and Jezebel.
  9. Pamela Vaughan: Pamela runs the HubSpot blog, which boasts 1 million monthly uniques and 150,000 subscribers, and it generates about 10,000 new leads a month.
  10. Kristina Halvorson: Author, blogger, strategist, speaker, entrepreneur. She’s one of the most consistently reliable voices on the topic of content marketing.
  11. Jenny Karn: You might not have heard of Jenny, but you have heard of her previous JESS3 clients: Google Politics, Eloqua, MindJet. All are widely applauded for their content marketing programs.
  12. Lindsay Bell: Lindsay is a former television producer, top blogger, and content strategist. A content marketing “triple threat.”
  13. Kate Lee: As Medium‘s Director of content, Kate (a former literary agent) is responsible for helping Evan Williams’ new blogging platform finally democratize content discovery.
  14. Royce Abrams: Warby Parker‘s Marketing Supervisor has created passionate fans not only by offering a disruptive product and service, but also by creating content-driven experiences for their audience.
  15. Mary Meeker: Every year, Mary publishes a massive, 100+ slide deck on digital trends, and every year more and more people anxiously await the arrival of her data leviathan.
  16. Nilofer Merchant: A multi-channel content star (TED2013 speaker, Harvard Business Review writer, #SocialEra author, and more), Nilofer also created a $200 million go-to-market strategy for VMWare.
  17. Samantha Starmer: It’s easy to forget the value of UX in content. But user experience rock star Samantha Tarmer never has.
  18. Margot Bloomstein: According to influencer search engine LittleBird, Margot is one of the three most influential women on the topic of content marketing. Her work at Appropriate speaks for itself.
  19. Clare McDermott: A marketer-turned-accountant-turned-content-marketer, Clare McDermott also edits Chief Content Officer Magazine.
  20. Julia Hutchison: Dubbed “Europe’s queen of content,” Julia is the head of content marketing for Group FMG.

Now let’s hear from you. Were there any surprises on this year’s list? Any glaring absences? Add your suggestions and I’ll update the Twitter list.

Joe Chernov is one of the many influential content marketers speaking at Content Marketing World 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio, September 9–12. Register today

Cover image via Bigstock

Author: Joe Chernov

Joe Chernov is the VP of Marketing for Kinvey, a mobile backend as a service start-up in Cambridge, MA. Joe joined Kinvey from Eloqua, where, as VP of Content Marketing, he was named “Content Marketer of the Year” by The Content Marketing Institute. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world on content marketing and social media, and contributes to this blog and Mashable. You can follow Joe on Twitter @jchernov.

Other posts by Joe Chernov

  • Nenad

    Awesome Joe. Just a tiny correction, Julia isn’t at CMA anymore; since last November she’s been Head of Content Marketing at FMG.

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      Got it Nenad. Thanks for the update. We’ve edited the post accordingly.

  • Nenad

    Oh, and her last name is Hutchison, not HutchiNson. :)

  • http://twitter.com/elizgoodwin Liz Goodwin

    Joe, thank you for publishing this. I came across a Top 10 content marketers list last week that only included one woman. It was rather disheartening. On the other hand, your list is awesome to read!

  • http://twitter.com/soloportfolio Clare McDermott

    Very honored to make your list, Joe! Now will go through it one-by-one and learn about the women on your list–some of whom are new to me. Love it!

    • Nenad

      It was long overdue. :)

      • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

        How’s “long” overdue? There was only one other list!

        • Nenad

          :))))

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      Earned placement, Clare. And yes, as far as “new names” are concerned, that was really the point to this list. To make sure different “types” of content marketers are reflected.

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Well played @twitter-19306636:disqus . Great list of strong content creators in general, regardless of gender. My personal favorite is number 7.

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      *Our* group was a really valuable source for “fresh” names to include in this list, #7 included.

      • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

        Yup. There are like three groups like that for me. Not sure how I wrote content before I had them. =)

  • carmenhill

    Thrilled and humbled to be listed in such good company. Thank you Joe! You got my week off to a brilliant start!

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      My pleasure, Carmen. You deserve it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenny.redden Jenny Karn

    What an awesome way to start off the week! Thanks so much for making this list to recognize those in less traditional B2B marketing roles and, of course, for including me in it!

  • heidicohen

    Joe–

    A great round up of women many people don’t think about when they consider content marketers.

    Hope to make your list next time.

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen

  • http://twitter.com/tmonhollon Tiffany Monhollon

    Great to see lists like these, and kudos to all the women rocking this list! Thanks for sharing, Joe!

  • Laura Crest

    Fantastic list of women, Joe – thank you! I do see one glaring absence: Heather Lloyd-Martin. She rocks content marketing every bit as much as she rocks SEO!

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      I’ll add her to the twitter list. Thank you!

  • teedubya

    Great list. I probably would include @shellykramer on any future lists. She is a content queen. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/jchernov Joe Chernov

      Thanks! I’ve added @shellykramer to the Twitter list that corresponds to this article.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    Woo hoo! We own Lindsay Bell! This makes my day (but don’t tell her that)!

  • Captain Hornswaggle

    This seems less of a silly exercise by some hopelessly horny beta dude looking to draw up a list of “marketers he’d love to boink.”

  • http://twitter.com/tracysestili Tracy Sestili

    Hi Joe, what a great list! There are so many great women content marketers out there and it’s nice to see a list dedicated to just women. p.s. hope to make your list in the future. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/lizonomics Lizzie Maldonado

    Thanks for sharing @twitter-19306636:disqus! I’m gonna get over this intense feeling of intimidation and go learn a thing or two from these women. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jimmycooper Jimmy Cooper

    Some new names to check out. :) Ann Naumann (@naumannclature) would be a great addition. She’s the Content Marketing Director for Yesler and has been putting some great stuff out lately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.hoffler Dominick Hoffler

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this.
    Margraffix.com

  • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

    Terrific list! I notice that most of these examples are from big companies. I would love to see a list of amazing small business content marketers. Maybe I’ll make that list :-)

  • Marysia

    Great post – i look forward to following some of these ;-)

  • http://socialmediahelp4u.com/ happyinmt

    Great post. I followed everyone on your list. I love reading about and following other women who work in similar fields as myself. I would love to see a list of small business marketers. Thanks for putting this list together.